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Twitter’s Implementing A ‘Safety Mode’ to Block Online Abusers

Sun Sep 05 2021

Twitters safety mode will automatically block any accounts flagged as the origin of harmful or offensive language

Twitter has been trailing a new feature that it hopes will reduce abuse on their platform.

Twitter’s safety mode was first previewed earlier this year and will now be rolled out to around a thousand English speaking users to continue the trial.  

 

Safety Mode has been created to automatically block any account for seven days if the system deems them the original source of any harmful language or if they’re found to be sending repetitive, uninvited replies and mentions targeting an individual.

Those blocked accounts will then be unable to send any direct messages to the user for a week, view any of their tweets or follow their account.

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When the feature is turned on in your Settings, our systems will assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the Tweet's content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier. We'll observe how safety mode is working and incorporate improvements and adjustments before bringing it to everyone on Twitter.

Jarrod Doherty - Product Lead, Twitter

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However, the tool has been set up to not autoblock any account a user follows or regularly engages with. Users can also view the details of any blocked accounts at any time and undo any that have been blocked in error.

 

Twitter have developed this feature in conjunction with several leading experts in online safety, mental health and human rights, with those same experts choosing the latest pool of testers.

 

It was only a couple of months ago that Twitter had to suspend 56 accounts over abusive tweets to players in the English national football teams following the penalty shootout final with Italy, with Twitter condemning the abuse as abhorrent, removing thousands of such posts from Twitter.

 

Twitter also launched a program earlier this year they call Twitter Birdwatch, in an effort to address misleading information on their platform.

Again, it’s currently been community tested in the USA and will hopefully allow them to identify misleading information in tweets, attaching notes for other users with informative context around the topic.

They hope their Birdwatchers community will eventually lead to a moderated ‘tweet community’ on the platform.

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Sun Sep 05 2021

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